Thursday, July 11, 2024

Intel’s Gaming Revolution 3D Cache Sparks Frenzy

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Intel’s Gaming Revolution 3D Cache Sparks Frenzy

Intel’s Innovation 2023 event is underway in San Jose. The headline is the debut of the intriguing Meteor Lake architecture. As a laptop-oriented architecture, Meteor Lake chips aren’t necessarily going to be the ultimate gaming CPUs, but next-gen chips may well be.

As Intel’s CEO disclosed, the company is developing chips with 3D stacked cache—which is something games, in particular, can take advantage of.

Gelsinger is quoted as saying, “When you reference V-Cache, you’re talking about a very specific technology that TSMC does with some of its clients as well. Obviously, we’re doing that differently in our composition, right?

And that particular type of technology isn’t something that’s part of Meteor Lake, but in our roadmap, you’re seeing the idea of 3D silicon where we’ll have cache on one die, and we’ll have CPU compute on the stacked die on top of it, and obviously using EMIB that Foveros, we’ll be able to compose different capabilities.”

That’s excellent news for fans. AMD’s X3D processors have proven themselves to be superb gaming CPUs, and it’s all down to enormous quantities of level 3 cache.

Games tend to prefer minimal latency and close-to-the-core cache. With more on-package cache, the CPU doesn’t have to access the relatively sluggish system memory as often, enhancing performance.

Intel’s Raptor Lake CPUs are hardly slouches when it comes to gaming, and future desktop processors like Lunar Lake are likely to be even better.

One question is what effect large caches will have on Intel’s gaming performance and how it compares to AMD’s future Zen 5 or Zen 6 architectures, which are likely to include V-cache variants too.

As Pat Gelsinger said, the 3D cache is not a part of Meteor Lake, but it is on the roadmap. Intel is proud of its Foveros technology and advanced packaging methods, and I for one am very eager to see where Intel goes with its tiered cache approach in the years ahead.

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